Every year at Web 2.0, Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker unveils her Internet Trends. I will not rattle down the entire list (the briefest of brief summaries over here at TechCrunch) but one thing that is really noteworthy as compared to last year’s edition (which I briefly covered here) is that mobile takes centre stage: in 2009, she started covering mobile in earnest on pages 28 et seq. This year, it is topic # 2 (but even topic #1 [Globality] has more than 50% mobile in it).
Now, the learned readers of this blog have (I suspect) known this all along but it is good to see that one of the more influential analysts of the web at large “decrees” this on the Web 2.0 (sic!) stage, too.
And it is of course blindingly obvious: large parts of the world leapfrog the desktop Internet simply because they do not have access to desktops. The access instrument of choice is mobile. And these parts of the world just happen to be the ones where most of the growth occurs.
Incidentally, Meeker’s third point was social ecosystems. And there as well, we are seeing the huge impact of mobile. If you take Tencent, China’s IM/Social Networking solution of choice with a whopping 637m active IM users, and compare that with the Chinese Internet users (384m), we have a delta of 250m people who are accessing this via mobile. Just like that… Again, it is not that surprising: after all, mobile is – by design – the most personal digital medium we have ever had and when this coincides (as it does) with it being the prime access for digital content bar none, you create a very powerful mix indeed. And this will not be constrained to the somewhat crude experiences of feature phone WAP browsers either: in 2011, we will see smartphone penetration breezing past the PC size (desktop and laptops alike). It is mobile, mobile, mobile!
If you want to have a read through the presentation, you find it here.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of delivering a talk at the Social Gaming Summit in London (which was fun even though it was at Chelsea FC…). Given that the audience was fairly clued up on all things social, I was focusing a little more on the mobile side of things – highlighting market sizes, roll-out speeds and platform risks (and opportunities!).
Sometimes, the good things come quickly and without much fanfare. Tomorrow (that’s 11 November), the Social Gaming Summit will open its doors at the Stamford Bridge home of Chelsea Football Club in London. And I will talk about how to bring the social element into the mobile sphere (and, yes, regular readers of this blog will be rather familiar with my stance on this).
So if you fancy a trip to Fulham to hear from the social games gurus from Playfish, Facebook, Playdom, RockYou, PopCap, etc, etc, please come along (a full speaker list is here). It is a tremendous line-up and should be tons of fun!
The conference programme is here and you can sign up here.
Some weeks ago, I spoke at the most excellent Mobile 2.0 Europe conference in Barcelona (I had posted a slideshow of the slides to the talk). Now the good folks of Dotopen, who organised the event, now made a video of my talk available. After watching it, I will say that one never stops learning . However, perhaps you will enjoy it anyway. Here it is:
I stumbled across an interesting piece of intelligence today, which looked at the development of virtual goods in the market place. According to this, median spend on virtual goods by users in North America has climbed a whopping 67% year-on-year to $50 p.a.
Equally interestingly, males are the largest spenders and, broken down by ethnics, Asians (26%) lead Hispanics (20%) by some margin over whites (11%).
So far (sic!), most virtual goods (how many? I don’t know) are purchased from stand-alone web-based games (World of Warcraft anyone?) but 31% had bought items in social networks (that would be the Zyngas and Playfishs of this world) with 29% in “network-based games” (what are they, I wonder). Facebook credits were used by 16% of buyers. Mobile? No word. It’s coming though: do bear in mind that there are 3x more mobile subscribers in the world than Internet users! And, yes, that’s true…